BANGKOK, July 7 — After scrapping the rice-pledging programme sponsored by the now defunct government, and rice price guarantee scheme, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has ordered the Commerce Ministry to assist farmers by lowering rice production costs.
Effective since July 3, the price of chemical fertiliser has dropped by about Bt50 per sack while the price of insecticide was reduced between 5-10 per cent following the resolution by the Central Committee on Goods and Services Prices on recommended prices.
Prices of these products must also be clearly displayed and complaints on overcharging can be made with the Ministry’s Internal Trade Department or with the hotline number 1569.
Sellers have said they could reduce prices of the fertilizer and the insecticide but only in short-term because producers must import raw materials.
They insisted that prices have to based on market mechanisms.
Farmers are, of course, happy as they see their production costs have declined.
However, they are still worried on yielding prices and have asked the state to guarantee that rice prices stay between 8,000-9,000 per tonne in order to help them earn at least a slight profit.
Farmers have claimed that their production costs are between Bt4,000-5,000 per rai.
The government of Yingluck Shinawatra which was ousted in the May 22 military takeover introduced the rice-pledging scheme in which farmers were guaranteed to sell rice to the government at the maximum price of Bt15,000 per tonne, depending on the moisture content.
The scheme was scrapped by NCPO after the scheme was found to be marred by massive corruption.